First off, an item type by default is something like Part, Assembly or Purchased. These are great default types and they correspond to the associated file types in Inventor and also the BOM levels in AutoCAD Mechanical. But why would you want certain properties in some cases vs. another? Lets take an example of the most common from a cad perspective; material. Material is something such as Steel or Plastic and represents the physical characteristics of it. In the case of Material this only relates to a Part and not an Assembly; Assemblies arent made of a material, theyre made of the material that the parts are made of.
There are other cases that are common as well which might lead you to create custom types. Lets say for example Electrical components or Pneumatic components. These have specific properties like Maximum Operating Pressure for Pneumatics and Voltage for Electrical. With each case you can see that these properties are very important, but only to the actual types youre interested in.
Lets look at an easy way that you can reasonably automate this each time a new file is assigned an item.
1) First off you need to tell the Inventor files the type that it belongs to. This can be done by creating a custom property that will represent the parts type. In this example Ive created one called Type and set its value to Pneumatic.
2) After this file is added to the vault or checked back in we can start to set up Productstream. In the administration tools start by creating some properties that are required for your particular type. In this case well create a couple of properties that are for the Pneumatic type; Tubing Size and Pressure. In this example its important that we set the value of Display on Item to no; this will ensure that no all types get these properties.
3) Next we need to set up the custom Item Type. Create one with the EXACT same name as you put in your custom properties. The spelling needs to be exact for Productstream to understand the match. Create a new type called Pneumatic
4) In order to ensure that these properties show up on this new type we need to select Edit Policies for this item type and change the Display on Item value for Tubing Size and Pressure to yes. This will ensure that only the properties related to that type are displayed.
5) Finally we need to set up a simple mapping to teach Productstream to honor this value. Simply mapping this new Type custom property to the Productstream Item Type is all you need to do to finalize this.
6) The end result is shown below. Not only is the Item Type set as soon as the item is assigned to the part, it also shows the correct properties which allows you to either fill them out manually or automatically populate them from the files properties.
Why would you do all this? Searching of course! The more data that is available for searching the better you can find and reuse it. Just think about this in the context of doing a project. Just think if you could get an accurate list of every Pneumatic component that fit a particular tubing size? What about that Electrical component and your voltage requirements. Selecting from your existing inventory is always a better practice and Productstream can help you get your job done faster and with less errors!